Sockeye Salmon 101

Sockeye Salmon 101

Sockeye Salmon 101: An Introduction to Sockeye Salmon

sockeye salmon

At Acme Smoked Fish, we don’t like to play favorites among our fish species. Of course, we love our Atlantic salmon, which makes up much of the raw material we use for making smoked salmon. We delight in our sustainably raised trout from Denmark and Norway that we lovingly smoke in our facilities across the world. And smoked whitefish is just plain classic—a joy to smoke, consume, and indulge in as a salad on top of a bagel or cracker. But sockeye salmon holds a special place in our hearts as a favorite species to work with at Acme when making smoked salmon.

What is Sockeye Salmon?

sockeye salmon ocean phase

Sockeye salmon is prized for the deep red coloration of its meat and delightful salmon flavor, accompanied by a pleasant minerality. Like coho salmon, sockeye salmon is another salmon species native to the Pacific Ocean, although with a slightly smaller distribution. Sockeye salmon are typically found in coastal waters reaching from Oregon to Northwest Alaska. Sockeye salmon of spawning age can range in weight from 5-15 pounds but tend to be smaller than coho salmon on average. For those who love wild salmon, sockeye is frequently cited as a favorite species.

sockeye salmon spawning stage

Sockeye salmon are one of the smallest species of Pacific salmon. Also known as red or blueback salmon, most sockeye salmon are harvested in Alaska with gill nets, either drifted from a vessel or set with one end at the shore. The flesh of sockeye salmon is known for its firm, lean, bright red-orange color. When smoked, sockeye salmon is generally dry-cured and cold smoked.

Why We Love Sockeye Salmon at Acme

sockeye salmon

We’re particularly proud of this species because 100% of the sockeye salmon that we source is certified as sustainably harvested by the MSC (Marine Stewardship Council). Although the bulk of the salmon that we smoke is Atlantic salmon, our sockeye salmon sourcing plays an important role in our journey to reaching a place where 100% of our salmon is sustainably sourced according to the GSSI (Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative) framework. Currently, 99% of our Atlantic salmon is certified sustainable, as well as 100% of our sockeye salmon, according to this framework. We are working diligently on that last 1%*, and our sockeye salmon sourcing continues to be pivotal in that endeavor. In our humble opinion, that is truly smoked salmon that you can feel good about!

Sockeye Smoked Salmon Products at Acme

sockeye smoked salmon

As you can probably tell by now, we are pretty darn proud of our sockeye smoked salmon here at Acme Smoked Fish. We’ve worked with this species for decades, and we have no plans to move away from it any time soon. Here are a few of our favorite smoked salmon products where we use sockeye salmon:

Where Smoked Salmon Fans Fit In

If you love smoked salmon, particularly sockeye smoked salmon, you can find these products in select retailers nationwide. Check out our Store Locator to find some of our sockeye smoked salmon products near you. If you’re local to Brooklyn, New York City, or the Tri-State area, come by our weekly Fish Friday retail experience to purchase some of our sockeye smoked salmon in person. Also, if there are any smoked salmon products you would like to see in our lineup using sockeye salmon, please reach out to us and let us know. You can drop us a line through our Contact Form or direct message us on any of our social media channels. We love hearing from fellow smoked salmon fans!

*Speaking of 1%, sustainability, and smoked salmon, check out our 1% for Climate Initiatives Program here.



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